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Rights Body: Govt Ignores Recommendations on Lapindo Mudflow

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) said on Wednesday the government has ignored its recommendations to restore the rights of Lapindo Brantas mudflow victims in Sidoarjo, East Java.

“Based on the results of our study we found a number of human rights violations in the incident,” Komnas HAM Chief Ifdhal Kasim said at a function to deliver the rights body`s year-end report.

He said the mud was still flowing and thus, it made technical and social problems complicated.

The government was overwhelmed to stop the mudflow, relocate affected residents, and ask PT Lapindo Brantas Inc as the operator of Banjar Panji well to account for the mudflow, he said.

Under Presidential Decree No. 14/2007 on the formation of Lapindo Mudflow Controlling Board, the mudflow victims will receive a compensation for the damage of their houses and land in stages, he said.

“But the settlement of a compensation is still dragging on and the mudflow victims have yet to receive their rights as promised,” he said.

He said the slow handling of the mudflow case and the decision to renegotiate the compensation showed that the government had ignored the protection and fulfilment of the mudflow victims` rights.

Syarifuddin Ngulma Simuelue, a Komnas HAM member, said the rights body had issued 18 recommendations to the government but none of them had been followed up.

The East Java provincial police have issued an order to halt investigation into the Lapindo mudflow case.(*)

(c) ANTARA News

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